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Houston Chronicle Building At 516 Travis St.


houston1973

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I have a question. why does the Chronicle building hide behind that ugly ficade. They were (are) replacing the ficade or cleaning it. i would love to see how Mr. Jones built the chronicle above and around the old theatre, that is hiding behing that. I think it would look incredible along with all the other building that have fake ficades. The West building was one of those and the ficade was taken out, not the greatest building but looks better without it.

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I facade on the Chronicle building was added during the great facade modernization fad of the 1960s. They probably assumed it gave the complex a more unified look than with the three original structures (Chronicle Building, Milam Building, Majestic Theater). The gold aluminum facade on the West Building was only removed because it had been damaged in a fire.

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  • 3 weeks later...
I facade on the Chronicle building was added during the great facade modernization fad of the 1960s. They probably assumed it gave the complex a more unified look than with the three original structures (Chronicle Building, Milam Building, Majestic Theater). The gold aluminum facade on the West Building was only removed because it had been damaged in a fire.

Exactly correct Subdude. When the Weingartens building was torn down on 808 Praire the new printing plant was built in that location. It was then that all of the buildings facing Texas were incorporated into a single looking facade. The theatre is there

amongst them. Current employees are probably not aware of the layout around this building on the upper floors. Plenty of up and downs as the levels did not all line up in each building. An ADA accessiblity inspector would have had a cow if current rules were in effect back then.

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Exactly correct Subdude. When the Weingartens building was torn down on 808 Praire the new printing plant was built in that location. It was then that all of the buildings facing Texas were incorporated into a single looking facade. The theatre is there

amongst them. Current employees are probably not aware of the layout around this building on the upper floors. Plenty of up and downs as the levels did not all line up in each building. An ADA accessiblity inspector would have had a cow if current rules were in effect back then.

Can't help but wonder how many other buildings in that vicinity still have original details "masked" by ugly newer renovations. If we could just peel away the ugliness so these hidden treasures can be seen again. This may seem even more far fetched but could it be possible to research old documents as to where any original materials would have been taken away to? Surely everything didn't end up in the city landfill? Seems bizarre to see items excavated. Someone, somewhere must know if this could be done. Sometimes we hear in the news how construction sites recover relics of all types. Imagine what cool things are hidden underground?

Edited by Vertigo58
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This picture appears to have been taken before the previous one, which shows the old Majestic with some added upper structure. The Chronicle building has also had some exterior enhancements. Anyone know what that building just south of the Chronicle is?

ChronBldg.jpg

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This picture appears to have been taken before the previous one, which shows the old Majestic with some added upper structure. The Chronicle building has also had some exterior enhancements. Anyone know what that building just south of the Chronicle is?

Jesse Jones built the Milam Building in 1919 at the corner of Texas and Milam next to the Majestic Theater. It was later extended over the roof of the theater. In the mid 1940s after the theater had closed all three structures were integrated. The facade dates from 1967.

The building to the south of the Chronicle on Travis and Texas was the Houston Post building from 1903 until the mid 1920s. After that I believe it was used for retail.

Can't help but wonder how many other buildings in that vicinity still have original details "masked" by ugly newer renovations. If we could just peel away the ugliness so these hidden treasures can be seen again. This may seem even more far fetched but could it be possible to research old documents as to where any original materials would have been taken away to? Surely everything didn't end up in the city landfill? Seems bizarre to see items excavated. Someone, somewhere must know if this could be done. Sometimes we hear in the news how construction sites recover relics of all types. Imagine what cool things are hidden underground?

The worst example of "modernization" was the 806 Main building (aka Carter Building & Second National Bank). The facade is utterly nondescript, but the original glazed white brick facade was lovely. Supposedly the original skin is still in place under the facade, and could probably be restored, but it would take a lot of money.

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Can't help but wonder how many other buildings in that vicinity still have original details "masked" by ugly newer renovations. If we could just peel away the ugliness so these hidden treasures can be seen again. This may seem even more far fetched but could it be possible to research old documents as to where any original materials would have been taken away to? Surely everything didn't end up in the city landfill? Seems bizarre to see items excavated. Someone, somewhere must know if this could be done. Sometimes we hear in the news how construction sites recover relics of all types. Imagine what cool things are hidden underground?

"Oh My God" this reminds me of a true story my dad told me. I guess it's safe to repeat it now because most of the participants are now dead, except for a retired airline pilot that was there as a summer helper.

During a plumbing repair in the basement of the Rice Hotel around 1967 or 68, the floor had to be excavated. The foreman was intriqued that the site was once the capitol of Texas and he anticipated unearthing "hidden" artifcats. The laborers (the guys with shovels) were getting pretty aggrivated with this guy and his "history lessons" and by mid day during lunch break decided to pull a prank on him. They had found and old rusty boot scrapper discarded in the basement, and then after removing the ornamental ball form the end of it, ruffed it up a bit with a hammer and threw it into the excavation. Well, needless to say, the foreman discovered the "treasure" and called the hotel manager to come look. The manager called the Chronicle next door and they in turn called the Hertitage Society over on Bagby St. They all got photographed with the historic "cannonball" while the laborers retreated to the back of the room.

The laborers, and the summer helper, later told the foreman's supervisor (my father), about the incident. He swore them all to secrecy. The "cannonball" was on display inside a glass case over at the "Heritage Society" for several years. Don't know what ever came of it.

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94-3_MainWalker.jpg

wow - thanks. main st. looked more lively - and there was a walgreens! and people! (not loitering in view, that is)

The laborers, and the summer helper, later told the foreman's supervisor (my father), about the incident. He swore them all to secrecy. The "cannonball" was on display inside a glass case over at the "Heritage Society" for several years. Don't know what ever came of it.

that's insane! would be neat if you could narrow down the time frame a bit - someone could dig up the old chronicle picture/article :D

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  • The title was changed to Houston Chronicle Building At 516 Travis St.

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